No. 15 GymCats Set to Host No. 11 UCLA on Sunday
TUCSON, Ariz. — The No. 15 Arizona GymCats open their 2021 home slate by hosting the No. 11 UCLA Bruins this Sunday, Jan. 31 at the McKale Center. The meet is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. MST, with a free web broadcast available on ArizonaWildcats.com.
The GymCats, led by head coach John Court, opened the year last weekend at Utah and posted one of their best season-opening scores in recent history. Arizona's young squad enters this weekend's meet ranked No. 15 in the nation and looking to build off their strong week one performance.
UCLA also kicked off their season last week, posting a 196.150 at home to beat Arizona State. The Bruins are led by head coach Chris Waller, who is in his second season as head coach and his 19th season at UCLA.
A complete preview of Sunday's meet can be found below.
Arizona Tentative Lineups
|Vault||Uneven Bars||Balance Beam||Floor Exercise|
|Laura Leigh Horton||Sirena Linton||Avery Stauffacher||Laura Leigh Horton|
|Danielle Nosek||Malia Hargrove||Elena Deets||Danielle Nosek|
|Caroline Herry||Taylor Raskin||Caroline Herry||Libby Orman|
|Payton Bellows||Bailey McCabe||Mackenzie Barile||Elena Deets|
|Malia Hargrove||MacKinzie Kane||Jessica Castles||Jessica Castles|
|Jessica Castles||Elena Deets||Sirena Linton||Malia Hargrove|
HOME SWEET HOME: The GymCats host their first home meet of the 2021 season as they welcome No. 11 UCLA to the McKale Center this Sunday. Arizona's last home meet was a tri-meet on March 8, 2020 — the GymCats placed first with a score of 196.350 ahead of Ohio State and Bridgeport.
MOVIN' ON UP: Following a strong opening-meet performance at Utah last weekend, the GymCats ranked No. 15 in the nation according to Road to Nationals. That marks a significant upward move after opening the year ranked No. 24 in the WCGA preseason poll.
LAST TIME OUT: Last Saturday, the GymCats posted a 195.650 in their 2021 opener at Utah — it was Arizona's second-best opening-meet score in the last 15 years. Arizona's beam lineup led the way, earning a 49.150.
COACHING STAFF: The 2021 Wildcats are led by third-year head coach John Court, third-year assistant coach Taylor Spears, and first-year assistant coach Peter Jansson. Following decades of coaching across multiple levels of gymnastics, former Wildcats assistant coach of five years, David McCreary, announced his retirement in early January.
FRESH FACES: At Utah last weekend, the GymCats showcased six gymnasts making their collegiate debuts. Freshmen Taylor Raskin, Bailey McCabe, Elena Deets, Caroline Herry, Jessica Castles, and sophomore Mackenzie Barile all saw their first collegiate action in Salt Lake City. Additionally, sophomore Malia Hargrove and senior Laura Leigh Horton both made their first career appearances on the uneven bars and the vault, respectively.
STATE 48: The Wildcats 2021 roster features six student-athletes from the state of Arizona, including three local products hailing from Tucson: freshman Madison Courney, junior MacKinzie Kane, and freshman Halli Mayberry. The six Arizonans represent nearly a third of the Wildcats roster.
G-PAC: Earlier this month, a group of Pac-12 gymnasts announced the formation of G-PAC, or "Gymnasts for Peace, Action, and Change." G-PAC facilitates an environment where diversity and inclusion is both welcomed and encouraged. The Wildcats are represented on the student-athlete driven organization by sophomore Sirena Linton. For G-PAC's full mission statement, visit ArizonaWildcats.com.